DC Criminal Defense Lawyer


In the District of Columbia, you don’t even have to injury hurt someone to face an assault charge. Yes, you can go to jail for merely threatening to hurt someone or for touching them in an offensive manner. While we typically think of an assault as a fight, that isn’t always the case.

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Assault is considered a very serious crime, regardless of the circumstances. Imagine how such a charge would look to potential employers when reviewing your application. The best way to avoid such situations is to avoid a conviction altogether.

If you’re facing an assault charge, contact me today. Let’s discuss the case and what might be done to avoid that permanent blemish on your record.

Washington DC Assault Offenses and Penalties

The crime of assault is defined as unwanted touching of another person. This could include hitting, shoving, or simply putting your hands on someone when another criminal offense isn’t applicable.

At its most basic level, assault is considered a misdemeanor offense and is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and $1,000 in fines.

Ref: DC Code §22-404

Aggravated Assault

More serious than a typical simple assault is the crime of aggravated assault. Under this charge, the prosecution must have probable cause that you knowingly or purposely caused serious bodily injury to someone.

You can also face aggravated assault charges if it’s believed you engaged in conduct that put others at an extreme risk of serious bodily injury and the behavior actually did result in such injury (even if you didn’t intend to hurt someone).

Aggravated assault is a felony offense and if convicted, you can face up to 10 years in prison and $10,000.

Attempted aggravated assault is also a felony and carries a potential 5 year prison sentence with a $5,000 fine.

Ref: DC Code §22-404.01

Threats to do Bodily Harm

Though there’s no actual physical contact required in this offense, it is still considered an assault crime. If it’s believed you made threats to someone that you would or could do bodily harm to them, you could face misdemeanor charges and up to 6 months in jail with $500 in fines.

Under this statute, it doesn’t matter if you intended to follow through on your threats. Perhaps what you perceived as a joke wasn’t taken that way by the alleged victim and now you’re looking at jail time. A criminal charge of threatening someone means the threat wasn’t as immediate as an assault. You could be accused of threatening someone over the internet, or by phone, so you might not even have been in their presence. But it is still a criminal offense.

Ref: DC Code §22-407

Assault with Intent to Commit Any Other Offense

If you are accused of assaulting someone while intending to commit another offense, no matter what that offense is, you could face this felony charge. If convicted, this crime carries up to 5 years in prison.

This charge is frequently applied in cases of robbery or other similar offenses.

Ref: DC Code §22-403

There are several other assault charges under the D.C. criminal code. If the alleged victim was a member of law enforcement or even a fire fighter, your charges can carry much harsher penalties. Likewise, if it was determined that you were trying to kill someone when the assault occurred, you could be looking at a very lengthy prison sentence.

Understanding the charges against you is the first step in coming up with a defense strategy. Discussing your case with a defense attorney can help you determine the best course of action. We can talk about the evidence against you and decide if a plea agreement may be in your best interest or if we can beat the case at trial.

Contact me today for a free consultation on your assault charges.

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